Paul McCartney was generally known for writing "silly love songs" like "Yesterday" or cheeky whimsy like "When I'm Sixty-Four," but occasionally he could rock every bit as hard as John Lennon. While the Beatles recorded numerous violent rockers, few were more fiery, savage and controversial than McCartney's "Helter Skelter."
It's difficult to understate the importance of Townshend as a composer and a guitarist, and no shortage of great bands have taken a cue or two from the Who's songwriting wizard over the years. Several have even tipped their hats to the band by putting their own spin on one of the many classic cuts in the Who's back catalog.
We all have to start somewhere. From that first secondhand guitar to superstar…it doesn’t happen overnight. Here some great players share the stories of their humble beginnings and their musical influences.
The Who The High-Flying Genius of Pete Townshend! — Guitar World celebrates its newest Hall of Fame winner with an in-depth look at the period from 1969 to 1973, when Townshend and the Who released four of rock's biggest albums: Tommy, Live at Leeds, Who's Next and Quadrophenia.
Pete Townshend is a killer tunesmith who has penned such rock classics as “My Generation,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” But the Who guitarist and band leader is also among the most skilled and influential rock rhythm players in history.
Learn the trademark riffs and rhythm guitar mastery of one of rock's greatest pioneers! This second edition of The Who: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Guitar Styles and Techniques of Pete Townshend provides a step-by-step breakdown of Townshend's guitar styles and techniques on 13 huge hits by The Who.
It might well have been the end of the Who had Townshend not conceived a grand plan to write a full-blown rock opera. “We were feeling quite out of touch and out of place,” he explains, “thinking, God, we’re not selling singles anymore and neither do we fit into this new psychedelic era. We’re not an experimental band like the Pink Floyd. We’re not a guitar-based blues band like Cream. We don’t have the kind of extreme genius of Hendrix. What do we do? And I started to look at composition as a big issue.”